SAFETY BELTS SAVE NEARLY 15,000 LIVES EACH YEAR
Seatbelts prevent the number of total fatal injuries by around sixty percent for drivers and passengers in vehicles in the United States according to NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration). Auto accident fatalities are decreased by about 45% for both drivers and passengers in moving vehicles.
It is estimated that 85-91% of drivers consistently use seatbelts in their vehicles. If more drivers and passengers used safety belts, approximately 2,500 vehicle deaths would likely not occur. In fact, approximatley 50% of the individuals who died due to car accidents were not wearing seatbelts.
Residents in states with seatbelt laws tend to be more likely to wear them. With seatbelt laws, police can make traffic stops if they see drivers or passengers (often front-seat passengers, but in some states, any passenger) not wearing safety belts. Other states use a tool known as secondary enforcement. Law enforcement officers can address safety belt violations only if they make a traffic stop for a different offense. Arkansas used to have secondary seatbelt enforcement, but now can be pulled over solely for not wearing a seatbelt while driving.
SEATBELTS AND THEIR IMPORTANCE
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. They can be very dangerous. With seatbelts, experts have designed them so that the vehicle will absorb most of the accident impace, while the people inside the vehicle will not move around inside and will be better protected.
As long as drivers and passengers wear seat belts in the appropriate manner, the force of the impact caused by an accident is less likely to cause serious bodily injury or death. Safety belts are designed to distribute impact forces over the pelvis, rib cage, and shoulder. Also, occupants may suffer serious bodily injury or death if they are thrown from an automobile during an accident. Safety belts can keep occupants stable inside the automobile.
All occupants, whether they are sitting in the back seat or the front seat, lower their likelihood of suffering injuries if they wear safety belts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those who sit in the front seats of automobiles are forty-five percent less likely to suffer fatalities if they wear lap belts and shoulder belts, which is required by Arkansas law.
SEATBELTS AND PERSONAL INJURY CLAIMS
A 2012 survey revealed several reasons why drivers and passengers do not use safety belts. Most drivers and passengers reported using safety belts some of the time but not every time they drove or rode in a vehicle. These reasons include feeling uncomfortable wearing a safety belt, forgetting to wear a safety belt, and driving for a short amount of time. Some individuals reported never using safety belts, and their reasons varied. The most common reasons included not wanting to be told what to do, not believing a safety belt was necessary, and feeling uncomfortable while driving.
A survey conducted in 2016 found that most adults who refrain from wearing safety belts do so because they believe that sitting in the back seat is safer than sitting in the front seat. If you have suffered injuries during a car accident, contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We have decades of experience representing clients in personal injury cases.